Rodriguez Joins ITS

September 14, 2017

The Institute of Transportation Studies is excited to welcome Chancellor’s Professor of City and Regional Planning Daniel A Rodriguez to its ranks.

“I’m very excited for this opportunity to work at the College of Environmental Design at UC Berkeley and work on transportation and travel behavior with the Institute of Transportation Studies,” says Rodriguez. “There’s a lot of research that overlaps between these areas.”
Rodriguez, who arrived on the Berkeley campus July 1, 2016, was most recently a professor at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, where he taught for 16 years, and was the director for Center for Sustainable Community Design for the past two years.
His research focuses on the relationship between transportation, the built environment and land development. On an individual level, his work considers land value impact of transit investments and the impact of urban form on physical activity and traveler behavior. On a regional scale, he has studied the relationship between regional policies and travel patterns and how plans can be used to strengthen the connection between transportation and land use.
A majority of Professor Rodríguez’s work is driven by practical problems and finding solutions for planners and policy-makers. For example, his interest in travel behavior, ranging from walking, riding busses and trains, cycling and driving led to using sensors to track where people go and why, by collecting background data from before and after trips. His results, showing people spend between an average of 40 percent of their time at home or within a quarter mile of their home, helps to better design transportation studies to solve planning and transportation issues.
“This has really helped us to rethink our models on BE impact on behavior,” says Rodriguez. “The next steps are to use crowdsourced data to better understand people’s behavioral choices in space.”
Working within the health, engineering, economics, geography, nutrition and public policy disciplines, he has examined how changes to the physical attributes of the environment, such as the location of bus routes, rail lines, supermarkets and trails, are related to changes in physical activity; how land management tools can be used to encourage transit development and recapture property value increases by public action; and identified the causes and consequences of the rising levels of motorcycle ownership and use in Latin America.
Professor Rodríguez received his PhD at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2000 and his Master of Science in Transportation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1996. He is currently on the Editorial Board for the Journal of the American Planning Association, Journal of Transport and Land Use, Journal of Transport and Health, International Journal of Sustainable Mobility and Journal of Architectural Planning and Research.
Learn more about his work in a Q&A with CED.